You know when you’re dreaming and everything seems a little off and there’s this complex entanglement of weirdness that’s all somehow connected and manages to make sense even though you know that there’s no logic or reason? This is exactly what it’s like to experience the rock-pop-country-indie-punk band Totally Cashed consisting of frontman Trash aka Travis aka Paul, bassist Rauol, drummer Brandon, and guitarist Will.
I was inside the Mexican restaurant next to The Bookclub, the DIY venue the band was playing later on that night. As I bit into my burrito, I received an email from Trash saying we could all meet inside the restaurant. Once we did, he insisted that we have our conversation as they eat, as it’s a more intimate way to get to know someone. Our conversation started off with me routinely asking them to introduce themselves when Trash interrupted me to ask what my favorite color is (I said brown). I immediately knew how this was going to go down.
Based on what the band told me, Totally Cashed got started while they were in the military, and the band would eventually get bought out by Big Totally Cashed, an ambiguous capitalist cooperative who are allegedly associated with Big Pharma and the Clintons, and are now ridding them of any creative and artistic control.
“They’re making us go country against our will, which is probably the worst part about being in this band,” explained Trash as he squirts such an ungodly amount of green salsa on his burrito that I begin to wonder if he actually enjoys it. “We started off really wanting to play country but now they’re making us play country so it’s way less enjoyable.” I guess it’s like when you finally feel like doing the dishes and then your mom tells you to do them while you’re making your way over to do them, and now you’re pissed.
Not only does Big Totally Cashed control the genre of music they make, but they also came up with the name Totally Cashed. The band originally wanted to go by the name Gloria Estefan, who also happens to be the name of a famous Cuban-American tropical dance-pop singer. “We’re just Gloria Estefan superfans. It also seemed like an easy route to have people recognize the name which would generate clicks,” said drummer Brandon.
Luckily, their contract ends in 5 years, so in the year 2028, we’ll finally get to hear REAL Totally Cashed/Gloria Estefan. Out of curiosity, I decided to ask them the following questions to gain some more insight on how they navigate their musical identity, trying to balance the music they want to make vs. the music that’s being shoved down their throats.
How would you describe your sound and who is it for?
Trash: Horses. We’re making music for horses and we sound like horses. It’s a big demographic. There’s a lot of horses.
Will: It’s kind of an untapped demographic. We feel like most music is made for humans, so we wanted to be the first band to cater specifically to horses.
Are there any bands/artists, local or not, that have inspired what y’all are doing today?
You released an EP this past June called Totally Totally Cashed Cashed. How did you come up with that name?
Trash: It’s a double negative so we figure that since we hate Totally Cashed so much, it just cancels. It’s almost nameless and there’s so much behind it.
What was your goal when you were working on the EP? Do you have a story or message that you wanted to tell?
Ralph: I was mostly thinking of the movie The NeverEnding Story with that dragon because I really wanted to have sex with that dragon. I wrote it mostly without pants on, watching The NeverEnding Story.
Trash: To me, personally, the album for me is about the same thing… about having sex with a dragon…
… It is at this point that Trash randomly, yet sort of blushingly, states that this is his first day as a member of Totally Cashed.
Are you excited about this being your first show?
Trash: A little bit, but I am really nervous. REALLY nervous. I don’t know how to play guitar yet but we have a few minutes before the show starts to get it down.
Will: Our last singer died in a freak gardening accident. He turned the pressure up too high on the hose and it wrapped around his neck. He got anaconda’d.
… And now Trash is interrupting Will, telling me to ask another question while he’s on the phone. I peered over the screen and it appears that he is speaking with his wife, Cat.
Your previous album Babeland dropped in 2018. What’s the difference between Babeland and Totally Totally Cashed Cashed?
Trash: Cat, what’s the difference between the two projects?
Cat: The difference is that I have listened to the entirety of the second one.
Trash: But you haven’t heard the first one? Okay, I guess the difference is the first one isn’t listenable but the second one is. The first one sounds like Foo Fighters, but the second one only sounds like them a little bit.
You guys radiate a lot of positive energy. How do you stay motivated while making an effort to connect with everyone?
Trash: By being really rude to the people in the band, it’s easier to be nice to people outside of the band. Also, we love cops. I’m pro-cop. If I wasn’t in this band, I would be a cop right now and I’d bust down all these DIY venues that don’t deserve to exist. I’m so sick of it. They don’t pay taxes. There’s drugs. It’s just terrible.
What can we expect from Totally Cashed in the next year?
Trash: Hopefully nothing. I heard word that there might be a country album coming out but we don’t know who wrote it. I think Big Totally Cashed is gonna put a lot into this one, though. I’m hoping to see some features or something cool. I have big dreams that it’s gonna be a really big cool pop country record that we’ll get to learn and go play to the world.
I was invited to become a member of Totally Cashed because, apparently, they have another drummer position open. I accepted the offer enthusiastically, and as I waited and waited throughout the entire show to be let on the drums like they promised, I realized that they might not have been telling the truth during this interview. They didn’t even play country music besides a Lady Antebellum recording in between songs! And upon further investigation, I found a video of them recording their own music??? Now I’m left with even more questions than before. At least the band gave me a free bagel.